1 June 2001

Transcript of a tape recording of Devyani Rana’s testimony after the massacre of Nepal’s royal family

Devyani Rana

Translated transcript of the testimony of Devyani Rana recorded by Nepal’s Ambassador India Bhekh Bahadur Thapa on 11 June 2001, and dispatched to the High-level Investigation Committee chaired by House Speaker Taranath Ranabhat in Kathmandu. The tape arrived in a sealed envelope and was opened in the presence of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and other members of the committee:

Devyani Rajya Laxmi Rana 

BBT: It is 8:15pm on 11 June 2001 in New Delhi and I am Royal Nepalese Ambassador Bhekh Bahadur Thapa and I am speaking to you, Devyanai Rana. I request you to state your name.

DR: Devyani Rajya Laxmi Rana

BBT: Also present at Mohan Bahadur Silwal, Counsellor Royal Nepalese Embassy and Dr Jain, Please identify yourself. 

Dr Jain: Doctor S K Jain.

BBT: He is here for Miss Devyani Rana’s medical treatment. On instruction of the investigating committee, I am asking you some questions about the event that transpired at the Royal palace in Kathmandu on the night of 1 June. Please answer whatever you know in the best possible way. Why are you in Delhi, and what are you doing here?

DR: I am not well. And the Doctor (weeping) … treatment …

BBT: What do you know about the event I described earlier?

DR: I do not know anything more about this. I had never imagined such a thing could happen.

BBT: What do you have to say about the relationship between you and the then His royal Highness the Crown Prince? 

DR: (weeping) … it was personal and I would not like to talk about it… (weeping)

BBT: Telephone logs show that you had a long conversation between 8 to 9 in the evening with the royal palace. Try to remember with whom you had that conversation and what you talked about. I would request you to provide this information.

DR: What I remember is that His Royal Highness the Crown Prince called me after 8pm. He asked if I was coming for the inauguration of the National Sports Day on Sunday. He was calling on his mobile and my mobile was not very clear (weeping). I said I did not understand. He asked again, but before I could reply he hung up. I tried to call His Royal Highness back. His phone rang and rang, but he did not pick up. If he did not pick up a call, the mobile would automatically transfer the call to his ADC. The duty ADC picked up the phone. I told him that His Royal Highness had slurred speech and if he was ok … I requested him to go upstairs to his room and check up on him. And I hung up.

Dipendra Shah
Crown Prince Dipendra on 31 May 2001 at the Sports Academy at Satdobato in Lalitpur. Photo: RABI MANANDHAR

After a while His Royal Highness called back. He said he would call me back the next morning, and wished me good night. I also said good night. Again, he said I am about to go to bed and repeated good night.

BBT: During your conversation with His Royal Highness, did you find him as usual or did you hear or feel anything specifically different?

DR: His Royal Highness’ voice was slurred. As I said earlier, I had a feeling he may not be well.  Which is why (weeping) during his contact with the ADC I requested him to go upstairs to his room. (weeping, coughing)

BBT: Aside from this, is there any other information you can share, or not? 

DR: I do not know anything more (weeping, sobbing) 

BBT: Thank you. Dr Jain … Devyani … As instructed, this tape was prepared as per the above questions. It will now be sent to Kathmandu.

(Based on the report of the High-level Investigation Committee on the event at the Royal Palace on 1 June 2001. The Nepali text is here.)